Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.
Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788
I agree with Mr. Webster that every child in the United States should understand the privilege of being a US citizen. Like the holidays in the Bible, patriotic days are a great time to remind your children of the past, where we have been and how we got where we are. In this country we have a common heritage of music and heroes that should not be forgotten. Here are some resources to help you do that.
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a series of informative and helpful newsletters. One of those is called Freebie Fridays. This Friday's newsletter contained several links to help educate children on our heritage.
Learn Out Loud is a collection of audiobooks for sale and for free. They have a daily newsletter that let's you know what's free and it often touches on the current holiday or events. This week there have been several American History audios highlighted that are free. On their kid's page scroll down and under "most popular" you'll find audios of The Declaration of Independence, documents of the Founders, biographies of famous Americans, The Bill of Rights and several important speeches.
Amazon gives away several mp3s on their site everyday. I downloaded Documentary Recordings Presents Patriotic Music . Another great source of copyright free music is one of my favorite blogs Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anyplace. Wednesday's post contained a link to 78's For A Fourth of July Mood, a collection gathered by the blog's author. It's a great collection of music from the early part of the twentieth century. A teachable moment for kids on how we used to listen to music as you explain the scratchy sounds in the music! If you want more of this kind of music check this blog's archives for patriotic holidays. There are some real treasures here.
I hope you enjoy your weekend and spend some time teaching your children!